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The sights and sounds of music


Enter Ell Hall from Krentzman Quad, and you’ll hear music echoing throughout the lobby. The same intriguing sounds can be heard while walking down the cor­ridor leading from the Curry Stu­dent Center indoor quad.

They’re coming from Gallery 360’s first-of-its-kind sound instal­la­tion, fea­turing work by the late Earle Brown, who studied at North­eastern in the 1940s and was a leading com­poser of the Amer­ican avant-garde since the 1950s. Run­ning through Feb. 26, the exhibit is the result of a col­lab­o­ra­tion between Gallery 360 and Northeastern’s Depart­ment of Music in the Col­lege of Arts, Media and Design.

The show marks the U.S. pre­miere of Brown’s sound instal­la­tion Music for Galerie Stadler (1964). Brown orig­i­nally cre­ated the elec­troa­coustic work for an exhibit in Paris in col­lab­o­ra­tion with artist David Budd and poet William Bur­roughs. Four tape tracks dis­tinct in con­tent and dura­tion are con­tin­u­ously looped and chan­neled through four speakers to yield a shifting tex­ture of sound. Linger in the envi­ron­ment long enough and hear rare bits of Brown impro­vising on trumpet.

Rebecca Kim, a post­doc­toral teaching asso­ciate in the music depart­ment, orga­nized the instal­la­tion and exhibit with gallery curator Bruce Ployer and Mike Frengel, an aca­d­emic spe­cialist in the music depart­ment. “Gallery 360 has cre­ated a space to dis­cover Earle Brown through sound and image, and to expe­ri­ence this envi­ron­ment over and over again in any manner one chooses,” Kim said. “You might walk through the space every week on the way to class, or stop to view a wall of images and notice a coun­ter­point between two chan­nels while standing directly under two speakers.”

The exhi­bi­tion fea­tures more than 30 pho­tographs and doc­u­ments from Brown’s career, many of them show­cased for the first time. Con­trib­u­tors to the col­lec­tion com­prise the Earle Brown Music Foun­da­tion, Lunen­burg His­tor­ical Society, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Archives, the pri­vate col­lec­tions of James Klosty and Car­olyn Brown, and the Boston Sym­phony Orchestra Archives.

The exhibit’s unveiling coin­cided with “Beyond Nota­tion: An Earle Brown Sym­po­sium.” The con­fer­ence was hosted last month by North­eastern Uni­ver­sity with sup­port from The Earle Brown Music Foun­da­tion and fea­tured talks and con­certs at the Fenway Center, Blackman Audi­to­rium, and Calder­wood Hall of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

This article was originally published by Greg St. Martin via news@Northeastern